Valentine's Day Prep - Are You Ready?
Updated: Jan 21, 2022
If you're like most florists, you start thinking about Valentine's Day the day after Christmas. Valentine's Day is especially difficult because you have just one day to make it right and most of your customers want their deliveries early. This year Valentine's Day falls on Monday, which is typically the busiest day of the week for a florist.
In year's past, as arrangements arrived at offices the Monday morning of Valentine's Day, men were prompted to join others by sending their wives and girlfriends impressive tokens of love. This year offices aren't quite back to normal, and many employees are still working remotely.
Last year we were in the midst of quarantining, and the holiday was busy as customers opted to stay home and celebrate.
This year, you can expect a busy holiday, so be prepared. Here are are a few tips to get you started:
1. Give more lead time to vendors. The flower industry operates on supply and demand. The more you know, the better you can buy. Pre-order what you would normally expect, and bump it up by at least 10-15% to account for a Monday holiday. Order by mid-January so you can be assured your product is secured.
2. Keep marketing going on social media. Many customers are still working remotely - so social media is your lifeline - especially Instagram, which is a quick, visual media.
3. Be prepared to explain price increases to your customers and offer them some options. Fuel and freight prices are going through the roof and flower pricing is at an all time high. This will mean you'll have to charge customers higher pricing, so you'll have to justify that in your marketing. Most senders opt for the biggest and best on Valentine's Day, but some customers won't understand why you are more expensive this year - so be sure to offer a couple of price points.
4. Don't sell yourself short on service. It's ok to up your delivery charge on the busiest day of the year. After all, you'll be adding an extraordinary amount of labor to make your deliveries run smoothly.
5. Do all the prep-work you can ahead of time. Have staff green vases a week in advance so they are ready to be finished with flowers and go the day of. A few days before Valentine's Day start rose arrangements so they can be tagged and ready to go out for delivery. Assemble and label your delivery boxes, fill water tubes, cut ribbons, etc. - streamlining any task that will save you time the morning of Valentine's Day.
6. Make room in your shop. Rose arrangements take up space, so make sure you organize your workspace and cooler to accommodate additional room.
7. Keep an eye on the weather. February is always hard to predict when it comes to snow storms. Weather in some areas is always an issue on Valentine's Day. Some customers may be willing to take deliveries early if they know the weather will be bad and their order might be delayed.
8. Hire plenty of extra drivers for that day and have one person be responsible for dispatching deliveries. Consider paying extra drivers by the delivery rather than the hour, which incents them to perform. Colleges, restaurants, and delivery services are good sources to recruit drivers. Set up delivery routes ahead of time and organize orders into zones in your shop. Make one person responsible for dispatching and managing your drivers. This way you will be able to expedite the delivery times and manage many more deliveries than on a normal day of business. You don't want to be delivering flowers at 10 p.m. on the holiday, so be prepared to hire more drivers than you need, so you can finish the day before 5 p.m.
With some well thought out preparation, planning and an organized staff, you can get through the day without feeling overwhelmed or defeated.
“Design adds value faster than it adds costs.”